Monthly Archives: May 2010

Flint

Flint (or flintstone) is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is usually dark grey, black, green, white, or brown in color, and often has a glassy or waxy appearance

Flint a.k.a. silica or quartz is a prime ingredient in glaze. It is the “glass” maker. The ratio between the alumina and silica determine the texture of the glaze and the ratio between the fluxes and silica determine the melting point.

Flint Nodule

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Filed under Glazes

Avoiding the Masses

Lovely, peaceful walk this afternoon around Lower Wield and Bentworth.  Only saw 3 other people the whole time…..we stopped at the garden centre to get some canes for our runner beans….I think everyone else who ventured out and about today was in the Garden Centre cafe.   Made quick exit!

Wonderful rolling hills and farmland, chalk and flint geology, interesting woodlands.  Very enjoyable.

Which direction is the Byway?

Oil Seed Rape, the UK's answer to olive oil....humm.....

Blimey...who lives down this enormous hole?

Chalk and Flint Cob. I was interested to see what would happen if I put a chunk of flint in the kiln. Afterall, it is a component of some glazes. Julian reckons it will explode.....thinking that maybe I shouldn't try it...

Very Hairy Lichen.....Very fresh air..

I wonder how......

Big nobbly tree

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Filed under Out and About

Second Firing Results…

Some really good results from the glost firing. The salt pig glaze has worked particularly well producing a high gloss finish.  It’s a shame I now only have one of these, the other one’s bottom blew off in the biscuit firing.  In fact the same thing happened with a custard jug, a vase and two bowls, so I have been panicking about having enough to fill a table next weekend.  I am sure they were completely dry and although I can’t be sure they didn’t contain air bubbles, that’s quite a lot of pieces to explode, especially since it occured during different firings.  I am boycotting that particular type of stoneware now clay…..I think it’s to blame as someone at the pottery experienced the same problem…at least it’s not just me.  Am planning a trip down to St Agnes at the end of June to pick up some lovely Cornish clay.  I just hope the clay pit is open on Saturdays.

Interestingly the celedon glaze I made worked well on the small jar, but looked totally undercooked on the mug.  I presume it is all to do with where the pieces are located in the kiln, and knowledge of this will come with more experience of firings.  The jar was by the burner on the bottom shelf and the mug on the top at the back.  The other mauve glaze looked slightly underfired too.

All three cones were down (7, 8 & 9), although according the pyrometer the temperature only reached 12630c.  Cone 9 shouldn’t have gone until about 12800c.  The temperature rose steadily at 1500c per hour for the whole firing.  Next time I think we need to slow it down towards the end and allow for 1 hour soak time.  Not bad work though for only our second ever firing…..will be getting a lot more practice this week.

Salt Piggy

Small and large Duck Bum Bowls

Barium blue glaze over pale ash glaze

A quartet of colanders

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Filed under Glazes, Kiln Firings, Pots

New creations brewing…

Whilst the kiln was firing in the garden, two new creations were brewing in the potting shed.  Easy to identify the first one, but I think the second draws inspiration from some of the wonderful knarled tree bark I have taken photos of recently.  It was not at all what I set out to make, that idea didn’t look right…..and this appeared instead…..like it.  Both are destined for the raku kiln.

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Filed under Pots, Work in progress

Firing in the Rain

It’s bank holiday….so of course it is raining.  Despite the rain we continued with the plan to fire the kiln today.  There is a tight schedule to get everything fired before the craft fair next Sunday.  This is the first of three planned firing this week, so really hoping we get off to a good start.  I am using new glazes, never tested before, so taking a risk that they turn out well.  It’s too late to make any new pots if something goes wrong.  It will be extra exciting opening the kiln tomorrow.  Julian had his graph out again today and ignoring a blip at the start, he is confident it was a good firing, lets hope he’s right……to be continued…..

Kiln packed

Trying to shelter the flu from the rain and the burner from the wind.

This is fun.....

Looking for cones is the only reason you would need sunglasses today

Gas pressure and burner on full this time

Reducing flame

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Filed under Kiln Firings

Get a wobble on….

The raku raspberry has sold, I’m thrilled.  He barely had time to find his feet and get settled in the gallery.  This is a very positive start….better get a wobble on and make some more pots….

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‘Ugly Ducklings’

Walking down the canal lately, the male swan has been ferociously on-guard as the lady swan sat patiently on her nest.  To be fair, I don’t think he took too kindly to Flo launching herself in the pond, but at one point, all the spitting and hissing was so aggressive, I thought it best we leg it….quick.  They can have your arm off…..apparently!

Anyway great to see today that the signets (or ugly ducklings) have hatched, 6 I think, and they are now parading around on the canal.

Not the best picture, taken on my phone……but look at his tail feathers…..I wonder where the idea for ‘duck bum bowls’ came from?

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Filed under Inspiration, Out and About